Track and Field
Denny Downing is in his sixth season as the head coach for Texas A&M-Commerce, where he has guided the program to unparallel heights.
In 2006-07, en route to a No. 13 ranking in the final WBCA/USA Today poll, the Lions set 40 school records, won the program's first-ever Lone Star Conference North Division Championship, Lone Star Conference Tournament title and NCAA South Central Regional Championship. In the process, Downing has became the all-time winningest coach in school history by winning percentage.
Over the course of the last two seasons, Downing and the Lions have posted an outstanding home record of 33-1 at the A&M-Commerce Field House.
At Texas A&M University-Commerce under Downing, two Lions have been named Newcomer of the Year - Hazel Woods and Britney Jordan, a Lion has been selected as Freshman of the Year - Katedria Mosley and last year, Kanani Marshal became the first Lion to ever earn Player of the Year honors. In addition, seven Lions have earned all-conference recognition. Both Jordan and Marshal became the first teammates in school history to earn first team all-Lone Star Conference honors. Jordan went on to earn LSC Tournament Most Valuable Player honors and Marshal became the first All-American in school history, following a record-setting senior year in which she set the single-season mark for points scored, three-point field goals made and attempted and three-point field goal percentage as well as steals. Furthermore, Marshal also set an all-division NCAA record with 145 three pointers made in a single season.
Downing came to A&M-Commerce in 2002, after serving one season as the head women's basketball coach at Collin County Community College. Taking over the CCCC program in September of 2001 near the start of the season, he directed the Lady Express to a record that made a two-win improvement from the previous season. The Collin County experience put him back into coaching after a few years of working in the financial field. Prior to his arrival at A&M-Commerce and coaching duties at Collin County CC, Downing served as the head recruiter for the Drake University men's basketball program in 1994-96 and was an assistant at Fort Hays State University as they laid the groundwork in 1993-94 which culminated in an NCAA Division II Men's National Championship two years later. He also served as head coach for both the men and women's basketball teams at Ranger Junior College from 1991-93, posting a record of 31-28 for the women and 33-28 on the men's side. He led the Rangers to the New Mexico/Texas NJCAA playoffs with a record of 19-12 in 1992-93. Graduating 80 percent of his sophomores, all of which went on to play Division I basketball.
From 1989-91, Downing served as a graduate assistant at Tarleton State University, aiding both the men and women's teams.He started his coaching career as a student in 1985 at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, working with the women's program.
A 1989 graduate of Northwestern Oklahoma State with a bachelor's in psychology, Downing earned his master's in 1991 from Tarleton State. Downing is originally from Enid, Okla., is single and currently resides in Commerce.